Scene and Heard – CCLXXXI : Default State of Mind –  Gonzo (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

iuIt’s a funky beast, that’s for sure. Default State of Mind is one of those songs which is as much about using hypnotic repetition to entice the listener in as much as it is about the slick musical  breaks, soul guitars and funky drumming. All very important components of course but the heart of the song is a confident groove, a simple yet wonderfully effective descending bass run and the knowledge that if you hit the dance floor to explore its exotic goodness, it isn’t going to throw in any unexpected twists and turns to get in the way of you flaunting your best moves.

And that of course is what dance music is all about. Cool, groovesome and sassy but also working its magic through beguiling and repetitious musical lines. But that is not to say that it isn’t without character or plays things too straight, this song is full of character. Nile Rogers style guitar licks, an energy and drive which draws a line from disco to contemporary clubland sounds, call outs and vocal interludes, simple but elegant musical blends, a singular purpose and fixed musical vision, all create a wonderful identity for the track.

The video too, underlines the same qualities, the fact that the songs visual accompaniment is of an ultra-slick, dance routine, the same girl copied to become a trio and exhibiting gracefully and groovesome dance moves that seem to fit in any where from the 70’s New York club scene to the modern day underground basement gatherings in the knowingly hip Berlin alt-dance scene.

It ticks a lot of boxes, it shimmers with a slightly understated but effective uptown funkiness, it pulses and chimes with the sound of dance music the way it used to be made, it is both futuristic and old-school, creating its own musical loop and running around it blending styles and eras into one all encompassing, history of the dance floor. It will turn the heads of dance punters, grab the teen dollar and also soothe the ears of more discerning underground pop pickers. Creating great, forward thinking, modern, original pop is a task in itself, to do so in such a way that it seems to keep every corner of the wide and diverse market happy simultaneously is something else.

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